email list building

Building An Engaged Email List in 2020

Adapted from an article published on the Kartra Blog by Genesis Digital

Every few months or so, there’s another “in-the-know” blogger announcing to the world that email is dead.

Except, they’re wrong. Email marketing is far from dead.

In fact, building a list of actively engaged email subscribers can be one of the most effective lead generation methods and revenue builders.

But there’s a catch.

Building an engaged list isn’t a walk in the park — many marketers lament that it is much trickier than they expected. To help you avoid the pitfalls, we’re breaking down some of the most effective email marketing best practices.

When it’s all said and done, you’ll see a list of loyal, engaged customers; and it will just keep growing!

Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.

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Generating leads and building your list

Adding value with an email list is pretty much impossible to do if said list doesn’t exist.

To get started, you’ll need to understand what your customer relationships are like and tailor the following solutions to your audience in pursuit of something simple: Their email address.

Passively capture emails on your existing platforms

Chances are, you already have some kind of content built for your business. This can include a website, online store, social media pages, or anything else that a potential customer might see associated with your brand.

You can use your existing presence as a means to start gathering email addresses in a few different ways. One powerful method is to use “triggered” responses, where a customer’s email address is required to do something, like place an order. Another is to offer a “lead magnet,” something valuable like a PDF doc of info, in exchange for a user’s email address.

Don’t knock the old-fashioned newsletter sign-up

Sometimes, getting straight to the point is worthwhile. People who explicitly sign up for your email content are probably more inclined to read it, meaning that your subscriber list will show more engagement once emails go out.

Including a very simple mailing list signup call-to-action on a landing page — a feature that increases leads by up to 55% — can be a great way of getting your email content front and center, while generating the intrigued audience for it at the same time.

Use social media as a funnel

If somebody follows your brand on social media, there’s a strong chance they’ll be interested in your emails, too.

Facebook knows this; you can set your business page’s call to action button to a “Sign up for email” option by default. Your social media presence can act as a springboard onto your email content for the people who are interested; in other words, exactly the kind of people you want to send emails to.

Using your social media tools like a funnel for emails doesn’t need to be difficult. Email signup can be accomplished through landing page links on your posts, or even asking your followers to sign up directly. They’re more inclined to do so than you might think!

Making your list valuable to you and your subscribers

Once you’ve cultivated a growing list of subscribers, it’s time to start sending them something.

This begs the question: Send them what?

Answer: Something that’s important to both you, and your subscribers.

Central to customer relationship management is knowing that your customers, and potential customers, have all the power. If you’re sending them something they don’t care about, engagement will go down, or worse: They’ll unsubscribe from you completely. That’s why your email content needs to be the right thing, at the right time.

For example, if you’re selling a copywriting course for business owners, don’t send them random emails about cool news articles. Send them content they WANT to receive, that you’re also passionate about stuff like: “the worst subject lines you’ve ever seen” or “how not to write a headline.” Stuff that teaches your list something new while teasing them with your product, intriguing them to buy.  

Send email at the right times

There is a lot of attention paid to timing emails in marketing circles, and understandably so. You’ll typically hear advice suggesting mornings and evenings during the week when workers wake up and check their email to start the day. However, the truth is, the best time to send your emails is when your subscribers will open them.

They might be similar to many other people, and open their email in the morning. But if you’re marketing towards night shift workers, vampires, or freelancers, you might find through experimentation that your open and click-through rates increase when emails are sent at a different time of day.

If you use Kartra to send your emails, Kartra will actually use your real-life data and tell you the best day of the week and time of day to send for your list to see higher conversions.

Always make it worthwhile

Email that doesn’t contain anything important will either not get opened or will produce no clicks. Even worse, subscribers that continually get email with nothing they like or want inside of it will start to ignore what they get in the future, or worst of all: They’ll opt-out of emails entirely and report you for spam.

Some emails to consider are welcome emails that congratulate your new lead for joining your list, welcoming them to the family, and pointing them in the right direction for important links like customer support, your blog, your sales page, etc.

Another good email method is to take any pre-written blog posts you have and break them out into a series of soap-opera style emails, each one teaching your email list something new, and getting them excited for the next email.

Segment your subscribers

An important step to take both during and after the list building process is segmentation. While you can do this manually, Kartra can actually do this for you, based on automated tags for things like whether they visited a page, watched a video, purchased a product, etc. You can also segment your list in Kartra based on levels of engagement and lead scores.

Once you’ve segmented your list into smaller, more precise groups, you can send different campaigns based on things like where they signed up and other characteristics. Send your more loyal subscribers bonus coupons, and people who watched a particular video, more content that’s related that they might be interested in.

Email marketing isn’t dead. It’s just changing.

And the best way to adapt to the changing times is with a marketing platform that helps maximize your email sends and conversion rates. Kartra not only has one of the highest email deliverability rates on the market, but we help you BUILD your list with built-in opt-in forms, we help you organize and segment your lists with detailed lead profiles, and we help you send beautiful and personalized emails, complete with dynamic variables, glorious templates, and intelligent split testing.

It’s less work for you, but more results. If that isn’t a win-win, we don’t know what is.

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